Classic: Steak with Béarnaise sauce

A new day has come and that means a new recipe! Now, I’m pretty sure that many people love MEAT and steak just happens to be one of their favorites (okay, I love steak, I hope you do too…). But a nice tender and juicy steak with Béarnaise sauce? With a side of pan-roasted potatoes and grilled cherry tomatoes? That’s just out of this world. The  Béarnaise is slightly difficult to make, it probably won’t turn out right during your first few trials so if you want to buy the sauce, that’s fine, just remember to take a high-quality one, not “Knorr powder sauce”, that’s just unacceptable. On the other hand, this dish doesn’t have too many ingredients (except the sauce) and it’s fairly quick to make. A dinner for two? Perfect!

Just another quick note. When choosing the meat, choose a piece of beef that’s fairly thick, and the fat should be marbled like this:

A cut like this will definitely be tender because that fat is distributed evenly across the piece of meat. And just another thing, store the sauce carefully if you have some left, and don’t keep it more than 2-3 days because it has eggs…

*Ingredients: (2 portions)

– Béarnaise sauce:

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 10 peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250 clarified butter, cooled to room temp.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (not lime)

– The Steak (capital S!!!):

  • 2 fillet mignon/entrecote (high-quality + tender cuts) ~ 300gr
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, just to prevent the meat from burning
  • a little fresh thyme for decoration

– Potatoes and tomatoes:

  • 300 gr new potatoes (these are best for roasting)
  • 50 gr butter
  • Herb Provençal (thyme, rosemary, tarragon, basil,…)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

*Methods:

– Béarnaise sauce:

1. Combine the white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons snipped tarragon, shallot and peppercorns in a small, heavy-based saucepan and reduce by half over a low heat. Set aside to cool.

2. When the vinegar reduction is cold, add the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons cold water. Set the pan over a low heat and whisk continuously, making sure that the whisk reaches right down into the bottom of the pan.

(As you whisk, gently increase the heat; the sauce should emulsify slowly and gradually, becoming unctuous after 8-10 minutes. Do not let it become hotter than 65°C.)

3. Turn off the heat and whisk the clarified butter into the sauce, a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then strain the sauce. Stir in the rest of the tarragon and lemon juice.

– The Steak:

1. Marinate the steak with the spices and leave it for at least 10-15 minutes.

2. Heat up the pan to medium hot, add olive oil and then the beef. Make sure you get a nice brown crust on the meat.

3. Cook the Beef to medium-rare/medium (depending on your taste). Check out this post for more info about temperature of steaks:

https://foodloverguy94.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/cuts-of-beef-and-temperature-of-beef/

4. Set the meat aside so that it could rest (soak up all the nice meaty juice)

– Potatoes:

1. Boil the potatoes for 10-12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, turn the heat on low, add olive oil to the pan and throw in the cherry tomatoes. Let it slowly cook itself.

3. Take the potatoes out, slice into halves lengthwise.

4. In another pan, add olive oil, turn heat on medium and then add the potatoes.

5. Season generously with salt and pepper. Make sure both sides of the potatoes are nice and crispy.

6. Add in the dry herbs, butter and garlic. Roast for another 1-2 minutes.

7. Start plating!!! And yours should be looking like this:

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Bon apetit!

LD.

Asian flavors: egg noodles stir-fry with chicken and bok choy

It has been a really really long time since the last time I posted a new recipe up here. But the good news is I’m back in Foodie Town. This one is dedicated to all those who love a nice asian noodle wok but hate that greasy, fatty chinese take away. With only a few ingredients, it’s simple, healthy and delicious. And by the way, it takes only 15 minutes in total to do this, what’s better than quick and tasty? Anyway, this is how to make it:

*Ingredients: (1 portion)

– Chicken breast – 100g
– Dried shiitake mushrooms – 30g + 2 tbsp minced shallots/garlic for stir-frying + Oil 1-2 tbsp
– Light/dark soy sauce + oyster sauce to taste
– 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine + 1 tbsp oyster sauce + 1 tbsp soy sauce to marinate the chicken
– 2 large Shanghai bok choy
– Dried egg noodles – 100g
– A little water for the sauce

*Method:

1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in water at least 1 hour before cooking

2. Slice the chicken breast into long thin strips and marinate for at least 15 minutes.

3. In a wok, turn up the heat and sweat the shallots and garlic until they are fragrant.

4. Now, turn the heat to max, add the chicken, mushroom and extra soy/oyster sauce. The fire should be burning like you’re in hell right now. That’s called “breath of the dragon”.

5. Slice the bok choy into long and thin strips as well, blanch in water for 1 min. Add them to the wok with the chicken.

6. Blanch the egg noodles in hot water for 3-4 minutes then drain, then add immediately to the wok.

7. Add some more seasoning and water to the noodle.

8. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes, then plate it up and serve!

DONE.

 

Le Degustationator.

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Penne with steak and creamy mushroom

Hi guys!

Long time no see really! How is everyone doing? (including my blog, hehe). I’ve been really really lazy but busy as well lately and unfortunately food blogging just isn’t the top priority. But after a good friend of my told me that I should get started with the blog again (Thanks Trang!) and by the way, she has an awesome blog too, hehe. But hey, I’m back again with a new recipe! Wooohoooo!!!

Well actually… It was no real recipe and was pure creativity in the first place. Saw some nice steaks, marinated it with onion powder, salt and pepper, some chilli flakes and seared it until it was medium rare. Pasta cooked till al dente, stirred in a nice thick, creamy sauce with wild mushroom. The flavors were in just beautiful, the steak was nice and juicy, still pink in the middle and it was perfect for a dinner 🙂

*Ingredients: (1 portion)
– Flank steak (dry-rubbed with some onion and chilli powder) – 150g
– Wild mushrooms – 50g + 1 tbsp minced shallots for stir-frying + Olive oil 1 tbsp
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Cream – approx. 30ml
– Parmesan cheese – just not too much!
– Penne pasta – 100g
– Parsley to garnish

*Method:

1. Cook the steak to rare or medium/rare. Let it rest on the chopping board for 5 min.

2. Cook the pasta al dente, 8-10 min. Keep it hot.

3. Heat up the pan, add oil, shallots. Add in the mushrooms when the pan is nice and hot. Stir-fry for a few minutes and season generously with salt and pepper.

4. Slice your steak into thin, long strips.

5. Add the pasta and a bit of the starchy water that you cooked the pasta into the pan. Season again.

6. Add the cream and steak. Stir-fry for another 1 min.

7. Plate and garnish with chopper parsley.

DONE! BON APPETIT!!!!!

Image

Warm family dinner: Fettucine with spicy meatballs!

I dare not call this an Italian dish because I don’t really know if they have “spaghetti and meatballs” in any authentic Italian kitchen or not (I guess it’s more of an American “invention”). Nevertheless, this is my own take on this “classic” dish and I promise this is a recipe that even Italians would love 😀 What’s brilliant about this dish is that the meat is so soft and succulent, the sauce well balanced and… it’s easy to make! You can do it in a big batch and just reheat when you need, so it saves a lot of cooking time as well. Now let’s get to the point.

*Ingredients: serves 4 people

– Meatballs:

  • 200 g minced pork
  • 200 g minced beef
  • 50 g bread crumbs
  • enough milk to soak the bread crumbs
  • 50 g parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 small shallot diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 300-400 g fettucine
  • fresh basil to garnish

– Tomato sauce:

  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 100 ml of beef stock
  • 1 diced shallot
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp basil, oregano, thyme

*Methods:

1. Warm the milk and soak the bread crumbs for 10-15 minutes.

2. Mix the meat well together with the spices, cheese and 1/2 of the diced shallots in a large bowl.

3. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and mixed thoroughly again.

4. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and let rest in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.

5. Uncover the clingfilm and start forming the meatballs (the size is your choice)

6. Heat a non-stick pan with olive oil and start browning the meat.

7. In another pot, heat olive oil and stir-fry the garlic and shallots until fragrant.

8. Add the canned tomatoes and herbs.

9. Add the stock and turn heat on low , only simmering.

10. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook until the sauce is reduced to the right thickness!

11. Served with fresh fettucine. DONE!

Enjoy your meal!

 

Le Degustationator.

Authentic Italian cooking: Bucatini alla Bolognese (Mì ống sốt bò băm)

Okay, okay, for those who are real Italians (potential critics), I’m sorry that I used Bucatini but not Fettucine or Penne for this reach Ragu sauce but I just love Bucatini so much ! 😀 And for all my blog viewers, I’ve been really busy and lazy lately so it’s only until today that I’m updating my blog with a new post, I hope I can really make up for my laziness. I hope this point won’t disappoint you and I believe it definitely won’t!

Almost everyone has had a taste of some sort of pasta with the red sauce everyone calls “bolognese sauce” at some point in their lives, but how many of you had a real bolognese sauce? Do you in fact know what are the ingredients in a Bolognese sauce? And surprise surprise, a real Bolognese ragu uses very little tomato and the sauce supposed to be rich and velvety with a red/brown color from the meat juices. This is NOT a tomato sauce with a bit of minced meat. The authentic recipe also doesn’t require any spice at all, only the “mirepoix” vegetables (onion,carrot,celery) and there’s MILK in this essay as well (surprise again!) Oh and lastly, if you’re going to plan having this dish for dinner, I advise you to make it after lunch because it’s going to take a good 4-5 hours to get the best flavor out of the sauce. Okay, enough talking, let’s get to the point!

*Ingredients: serves 6 people

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g ‘pancetta’ (bacon NOT smoked bacon if you can’t find pancetta), diced
  • 200 g onions, diced
  • 150 g carrots, diced
  • 150 g of celery
  • 250 g lean minced beef
  • 250 g lean minced pork
  • 250 g lean minced veal
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 800g-1kg dried tagliatelle/fettucine/parpadelle/penne/rigatoni
  • 150 ml of milk or 100 ml of light cream
  • freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, to serve

*Methods:

1. Preferably a heavy-based cooking pot, set the fire on medium-high and render the pancetta/bacon.

2. Add the diced onion,carrot and celery to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and stir-fry until soft.

3. Turn up the heat and add the meat gradually so they can brown a bit. Season generously with salt and pepper.

4. After the meat has been browned evenly, add the white wine. Turn heat on very high so that the alcohol can be evaporated.

5. After 2 minutes, add the canned tomatoes and turn the heat on very low.

6. Cover the pot. Stir the sauce every 30-45 minutes to ensure there’s no burning in the bottom.

7. After 3-4 hours, open the lid and add the milk and adjust the seasoning. Turn the heat on medium-high.

8. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package and serve with the Bolognese ragu and parmigiano reggiano cheese. DONE!

Enjoy!

Le Degustationator.

Twist and roll! Chicken roulade in spicy tomato sauce (Gà cuộn sốt cà chua cay)

I’ve seen people making this a lot. Actually, I haven’t seen anyone personally but I’ve seen Masterchef contestants making this dish … on the TV. No idea how it tastes like, not truly sure how to make it but I decided to give it a go, luckily it totally paid off! Absolutely on the mark to be honest. If you want something “gourmet-like” for a fancy dinner for 2, something warm, something healthy but flavourful, I highly recommend this dish. It isn’t so difficult as well, so much the better 😀 Here’s how things work. Oh by the way, it’s kinda my recipe, not that I’m a genius or anything but I just made up the combination of the stuffing inside the chicken breast and they totally worked together 😀

*Ingredients: serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts = 250-300 gr
  • 120 gr fresh baby spinach
  • 4 slices of parma ham/prosciutto
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 100 gr chopped tomatoes
  • 200 gr high-quality tomato sauce (Barilla Napoletana, Olives, Basilico, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  •  olive oil

*Method:

1. Preheat oven to 150 oC.

2. Wash the baby spinach, quickly stir-fry with garlic and nutmeg powder in olive oil.

3. Drain all water out of the baby spinach, set aside.

4. Carefully butterfly the chicken breasts. Search youtube for a video teaching this technique.

5. Place a piece of cling film on the butterflied chicken breast. Pound until about 5 mm thin.

6. Remove the cling film and season the breast with salt and pepper.

7. Place two slices of prosciutto/parma ham on the end of each pounded chicken breast.

8. Place 1/2 of the spinach along the prosciutto.

9. Slice the sun-dried tomatoes into thin, long slices. Lay on top of the spinach.

10. Place the chicken breast under a piece of cling film, roll and form a cylinder.

11. Roll again inside another piece of cling film, firmly tie the ends of the cling film to form a sausage looking chicken roulade.

12. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan until hot, then add the chicken roulades and cook for one minute on each side, or until golden-brown.

13. Transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through. (The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.)

14. While waiting for the chicken roulade. In another sauce pan, heat olive oil and add the onion and garlic.

15. After 1 minute, add the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

16. After 5 minutes on medium heat, transfer to a blender. Blend the sauce until smooth.

17. Spoon the sauce onto the plate, slice the chicken roulade and plate it up. DONE!

Hope you will enjoy it 🙂

Le Degustationator.

Treat from the sea: Vietnamese spicy stir-fried squid (Mực xào cay)

Just simple as that, a bowl of rice and a dish of this spicy stir-fried squid and I’m good for the night! If you’re living in the seaside then this dish would be perfect as fresh squid just caught from the sea will taste so much better than the frozen ones and it’s still one level above the “fresh” squid that you can buy at the market. You travel along the coast of Vietnam, you stop at the beach and get a sun bath and after that, you should find those small Vietnamese ladies who sell these beautiful little creatures and take them home and … cook them 😀 I used to hate seafood but well, when I prepare it myself and they are fresh, I can eat the whole thing alone! This dish is simple, it’s truly Vietnamese and it’s healthy too! But wait…the best part is that it takes about 10 minutes to cook 😀 perfect for my impatience. Here’s how you do it.

*Ingredients:

– 500 gr fresh squid, cleaned and sliced into medium-large pieces (keep the tentacles as a whole if the squids are small)

– 2 fresh tomatoes, slice into big wedges.

– 1 tbsp of minced ginger.

– 1 onion, sliced thinly.

– 1 red chili (huge, long chili which are not so spicy)

– a lot of spring onions (as much as you want) chopped into large pieces.

– 1-2 tbsp of sriracha chili sauce/ chinsu chili sauce.

– 2 tbsp canned tomatoes.

– 1 tsp sugar.

– 1 tbsp fish sauce.

– salt and pepper to taste.

*Method:

1. Prepare all the raw ingredients so that they are ready for some quick action!

2. Put the pan on the stove and set fire on high. Only add the oil when the pan is extremely hot, do not put the oil in before otherwise it will burn easily.

3. As soon as the oil is in, throw in the onion and the ginger and chili.

4. After 30 sec – 1 min, add the squid and stir them constantly.

5. Add the fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes along with the chili sauce.

6. Continue to stir fry the squid, season with salt, pepper, sugar and fish sauce.

7. After 5-6 minutes, turn off the stove and add the spring onions.

8. Give it a good stir and serve. DONE!

I know you’re gonna love it 😉

Le Degustationator.

Back to childhood: Vietnamese stuffed and grilled tomatoes (Cà chua nhồi thịt)

I loved  this dish as a child and still love it now. One embarrassing memory was when I was 4-5 years old, one day, Mom decided to invite some guests over for lunch, she made this and since I was so so so hungry and I loved this dish so much (okay, I’m trying to make it sound more justifiable 😀 ) I decided to ate several pieces on the dish mom put on the table for the guests BEFORE they arrived!!! Mom was really angry I remember, lucky I didn’t eat all of them otherwise… let’s say it would get really messy and I mean really messy… for me and for her (mostly me 😦 probably ). Anyway, the point is this dish is simply beautiful. Large vine-ripe juicy tomatoes, stuffed with a fragrant and flavourful traditional Vietnamese filling that would blow your guests away. Even better, it’s HEALTHY! YAY!

*Ingredients:

– 600 gr minced pork

– 10-12 medium/large tomatoes

– 100 gr vermicelli

– 100 gr wood ears

– 100 gr sun-dried shiitake mushrooms

– 1 large onion

– 3 medium/large eggs

– 2 tbsp pepper

– Salt to taste

– 2 tbsp tomato puree (to thicken the sauce)

– 2 tsp sugar

– Chicken/Pork rib stock

*Method:

1. Soak the wood ears and mushrooms in warm water for 20-30 minutes in total to hydrate and soften them. Squeeze out all the dirt inside them and change the water every 10 minutes. Finely chop them or put in a food processor to save time.

2. Soak the vermicelli in warm water for 15 minutes. Change water once and soak for 10 more minutes until it’s soft. Cut into short threads. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

4. Finely chop the onion, mix together with the minced pork, wood ears, mushroom, vermicelli in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper, a little bit of sugar if you will. Add 3 whole eggs and thoroughly mix them. Set aside.

5. Cut the tomatoes in halves. Use a spoon with sharp edges, spoon out all the meat of the tomatoes and set aside in another bowl. They will be used to make the sauce later on.

6. Stuff the tomato halves with the meat. Lay them on a baking tray with the tomato side on the tray.

7. Bake the tomatoes for 45 minutes.

8. Blend all the meat of the tomatoes in a food processor into a smooth paste.

9. In a pan, add finely chopped onion, 1 tsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of tomato puree and the tomatoes. Stir and add the chicken/pork rib stock to the sauce. If you need to thicken, add more puree. If you think it’s too sour, add a little bit more salt and stock, add a little more sugar. The sauce should not be too runny in the end.

10. Spoon the sauce over the grilled tomatoes and SERVE!

Enjoy 🙂

Le Degustationator.

Creamy and delicious: “No bake” (well not totally…) Lemon cheesecake

It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s summer time and it’s the perfect time for a slice of lemony cheesecake that literally freezes everything around you and make you feel refreshing! The only downside for this dish is that it contains a lot of fat and sugar, which is detrimental to your body. But then all desserts are! And come on, cheesecake isn’t the least healthy choice compare to other stuffs but please, do not try to eat the whole cheesecake by yourself, that’s not recommended :)) This recipe is beautifully simple, it’s not mine but I’ve modified it (I saw it somewhere on the Net, can’t remember right now) as I want something less sweet and more refreshing. So here you go !

*Ingredients:

400 g digestive biscuits
150 g butter
10 g lemon/orange zest
1 1/2 small-medium sized lemons
500 g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
100 g white sugar
150 ml condensed milk

*Methods:

1. Break the biscuits into small crumbs, I would suggest using a food processor if you want to save a lot of time (especially if the biscuits are tough, some are very tough to break).

2. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuit crumbs until they can form a firm base on the round baking pan.

3. Form the base on the round baking pan with removable side. Bake for 20-25 minutes on 180oC (this is why it’s “nearly” no bake)

4. Squeeze the juice out of the lemons, make sure the seeds are removed. Set aside.

5. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together using a plastic spatula until a smooth consistency has been reached.

6. Take out the base and let it cool down so it doesn’t melt all the cheese filling.

7. Add the filling onto the base and spread it evenly using a spatula (I’m not great at this unfortunately…)

8. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours to set

9. Serve with fresh berries, mangos, pineapples, or just like that. DONE!

Have fun!

Le Degustationator.

Romantic for two: Tiramisu <3

Hi all!!! 😀 Haven’t been updating for a few days since I was on vacation in Croatia (warm, sunny and lovely beaches => huge thumb up ;D ), time for some new foodie post!

Ok so, I just watched Masterchef U.S a few days ago and recently discovered that “Tiramisu” in Italian means “pick me up” which is unbelievable. At this moment, I can’t think of a dessert that is more romantic than Tiramisu (sounds Japanese to me though :)) ). Oh by the way, you know, after a romantic dinner, you guys share this dessert and the caffeine might help you have the stamina to go to second and third base.. he…he…he…if you know what I mean :-” No but it’s really awesome, my first attempt and it turned out perfect. By the way, it’s really simply to make as well! Can’t get any better. Just to give you a better picture, this dessert is supposed to e perfectly light, creamy, not to sweet, not to bitter but very fragrant due to the espresso and coffee liquor. YUMMY!

Here is the baby ❤ (Modified version of Gordon Ramsay’s Tiramisu)

*Ingredients:

– 500g mascarpone
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 3 tbsp Coffee Liquor
– 300ml strong coffee or espresso, cooled to room temperature
– 180ml single cream
– 8 tbsp icing sugar
– 24 lady fingers biscuit
– Espresso powder, to dust
– Cocoa powder, to dust

*Methods:

1. Whisk the mascarpone with the vanilla and Coffee liquor and 50ml coffee, until everything is thoroughly mixed together.

2. Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until smooth, then fold in the mascarpone mix.

3. Pour the remaining coffee into a dish (sweeten with more icing sugar if you like). Take one sponge finger at a time and dip it in to the coffee. Line it in the baking dish.

3. Continue lining the baking dish with sponge. Spoon the mascarpone mix in until the first layer is fully covered.

4. Continue with a second layer.

5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to infuse and the tiramisu to set (so you can cut and plate beautifully)

6. Remove the tiramisu from the fridge. Dust with sifted cocoa and espresso powder to serve.

Delicious!

Le Degustationator.